During its May 18 voting meeting, the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) voted to open a new rulemaking proceeding that will consider improvements to its permitting procedures for electric infrastructure projects that fall under its jurisdiction. The Commission’s action is driven by increased legislative and policy interest in reducing barriers to energy infrastructure development to
CPUC Considers Party Proposals on Implementing New Prevailing Wage Requirements for Renewable Energy Projects in California
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC or Commission) is weighing party comments on implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 2143. Enacted last year, AB 2143 will take effect on January 1, 2024. This bill extends existing prevailing wage requirements for public works to the construction of any renewable electrical generation facility, and any associated battery storage…
Commission Issues Long-Awaited Proposed Decision in Transportation Electrification (TE) Proceeding, Setting a Framework for California TE Policy and Investment
On October 14, 2022, the assigned Commissioner (Rechtschaffen) issued a proposed decision (PD) on Transportation Electrification Policy and Investment in the pending rulemaking (R.) 18-12-006 before the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission). Commission approval of the PD would adopt a new Transportation Electrification Framework (TEF) to guide utility investments in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and would authorize $1 billion in ratepayer funding for the first five years of the TE program, known as Funding Cycle 1 (FC1). In recognition of the rapidly evolving EV landscape, the PD proposes to cap spending during first three years of FC1, which is a five-year funding cycle, at $600 million, and access to the remaining $400 million budget is held until the Commission issues a “Mid-Cycle Assessment” decision to determine whether modifications to or termination of the program budget is warranted. Notably, the Commission would prohibit Fortune 1000 companies from receiving any FC1 rebates, regardless of whether they propose to operate in a disadvantaged community. …
Continue Reading Commission Issues Long-Awaited Proposed Decision in Transportation Electrification (TE) Proceeding, Setting a Framework for California TE Policy and Investment
Effective Immediately, California Energy Commission Jurisdiction Expands to Include Non-Thermal Projects Greater Than 50 MW
On June 30, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 205 (“AB 205”), which, among various other things, expands the siting jurisdiction of the California Energy Commission (“CEC”) to include non-thermal generating facilities, such as solar and wind projects, with a capacity of 50 megawatts (MW) or more. The CEC’s siting jurisdiction was previously…
California Releases Its Draft Deployment Plan for Federal Funding Under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program
The California Energy Commission (CEC) hosted a workshop on Tuesday, June 14 to discuss its recently issued (June 10) proposal to deploy federal electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure funding under the NEVI Program authorized by President Biden’s federal infrastructure bill signed into law late last year.
The CEC held the workshop in conjunction with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), which is jointly charged with implementing the state’s NEVI funding. After taking public comment on the draft plan (comments are due by June 28), California will submit its final plan for approval with the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) on August 1. Federal funding will be released to each state upon approval of the final deployment plans, which is expected by September 30, 2022. The CEC expects to develop the grant funding details later this summer/fall and to release the grant funding opportunity in the winter of 2022. This plan anticipates the first chargers under NEVI project funding should be operational in Q2 of 2025, with full buildout completed by 2030.…
Continue Reading California Releases Its Draft Deployment Plan for Federal Funding Under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program
The California Public Utilities Commission Issues Proposed Decision on New Resource Adequacy Framework
On May 20, 2022, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC or Commission) issued a proposed decision (PD) that would, among other things, adopt Southern California Edison’s (SCE) 24-hour-slice proposal as the new resource adequacy (RA) framework applicable to load-serving entities (LSEs) under the CPUC’s jurisdiction. Generally, the proposal would require each LSE to show that it has enough capacity to meet its specific gross-load profile, including a planning-reserve margin, or PRM, for all 24 hours for the “worst day” of each month. The “worst day” would be defined as the day of the month that has the highest coincident-peak-load forecast. This new RA framework would likely be implemented in 2025, with 2024 serving as a “test year” for the new framework.
The Commission initially began examining potential changes to its RA framework due to significant and ongoing changes in California’s generation-resource mix, with the increasing reliance on variable resources such as solar and wind, and use-limited resources, such as energy storage and demand response, as well as the retirement of older natural gas generation. The Commission solicited proposals for a new RA framework starting in 2020, and in 2021 it tentatively adopted Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) slice-of-day proposal in decision 21-07-014. The Commission ordered a series of workshops to further develop the proposal, culminating in a workshop report submitted March 1, 2022. During the workshops, two alternate proposals were developed: SCE’s 24-hour-slice proposal, and a two-slice proposal developed by Gridwell Consulting. The parties generally favored one of the two alternate proposals, rather than the PG&E slice-of-day proposal. The selection of SCE’s 24-hour-slice proposal will set the direction for further development of the new RA framework.
Continue Reading The California Public Utilities Commission Issues Proposed Decision on New Resource Adequacy Framework
California Energy Commission Discusses Draft Report on Offshore Wind
On May 18, 2022, the California Energy Commission met to discuss its draft report to evaluate and quantify the maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind to achieve reliability, ratepayer, employment, and decarbonization benefits and establish megawatt offshore wind planning goals for 2030 and 2045. The report is the first of three interim work products that California AB 525 directs CEC to prepare. By the end of this year, the CEC must complete and submit a preliminary assessment of economic benefits as they relate to seaport investments and workforce development needs, and complete and submit a permitting roadmap. The ultimate requirement of AB 525 is to require, by June 30, 2023, the CEC, in coordination with federal, state, and local agencies and a wide variety of stakeholders, to develop a strategic plan for offshore wind energy developments installed off the California coast in federal waters and submit it to the California Natural Resources Agency and the Legislature.…
Continue Reading California Energy Commission Discusses Draft Report on Offshore Wind
Commission Ruling Reopens the NEM 3.0 Record to Invite Comment on and Consider Limited Issues
In its first move since hitting “pause” on the California Public Utilities Commission’s (Commission) consideration of a controversial December 2021 proposed decision (Proposed Decision or PD) that would have overhauled the existing net energy metering (NEM) tariff for California’s solar customers, the presiding administrative law judge (ALJ) issued a ruling on May 9 to reopen the record and invite party comments on a limited scope of issues.
The Commission adopted California’s existing solar tariff, known as NEM 2.0, on January 28, 2016 in Decision (D.) 16-01-044. Customers opting into this tariff pay a one-time interconnection fee (less than $150 for systems under 1 MW and $800 for systems over 1 MW). Customers taking service on the NEM tariff are automatically opted into a time-of-use rate plan and are subject to select non-bypassable charges (NBCs) that are used to fund general customer programs such as contributions to the wildfire fund, nuclear decommissioning, and the public purpose program, among others. NEM customers receive a bill credit for any excess generation produced by their system and exported to the electric grid, which credits may be used to offset customer energy costs. Under NEM 2.0, any excess generation credits are applied to the customer’s bill at the same retail rate (including generation, distribution and transmission charges) the customer would have paid for the energy consumption.
Continue Reading Commission Ruling Reopens the NEM 3.0 Record to Invite Comment on and Consider Limited Issues
California Makes Progress Towards Ensuring Electric Reliability for Summer 2022
On January 11, 2022, the California Energy Commission (CEC) issued an update to its Summer 2022 Stack Analysis. Previously, on September 8, 2021, the CEC issued a revised Summer 2022 Stack Analysis that showed potential energy shortfalls ranging from 200 MW to 4,350 MW during the months of July through September 2022, in the evening…
California ISO Issues Straw Proposal in Interconnection Process Enhancements Stakeholder Proceeding
On December 6, 2021, the California ISO issued an issue paper and straw proposal (“Straw Proposal”) for its Interconnection Process Enhancements stakeholder proceeding. The California ISO initiated this stakeholder proceeding on September 30, 2021 with the issuance of a preliminary issue paper. The stakeholder process comes at a time when an unprecedented level of energy procurement in California has caused dramatic increases in the number of projects in the California ISO’s interconnection queue. The California ISO’s most recent cluster, cluster 14, saw a record number of 373 interconnection requests being submitted, representing 150,000 megawatts of generating capacity, compared to 155 requests submitted in 2020. Ultimately, the volume of interconnection requests forced the California ISO to seek authority from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to extend its interconnection process by approximately one year.
The Interconnection Process Enhancements initiative will have two phases. Phase 1 will focus on near-term enhancements for cluster 14 and before the summer of 2022. The proposals in Phase 1 are scheduled be submitted to the California ISO Board of Governors in May 2022. Phase 2 will focus on longer term modifications and broader reforms to align interconnection processes with procurement activities. Those proposals are scheduled to be submitted to the Board in November 2022. …
Continue Reading California ISO Issues Straw Proposal in Interconnection Process Enhancements Stakeholder Proceeding